The Dwarf

Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Bob Weir

This was recorded during the sessions for Bob Weir's album "Ace" but not used. Bob Weir had this to say about it in an interview with David Gans on KPFA on 14 May 1997:

Weir: There was a lyric that [John Perry] Barlow had written that I actually chickened out from singing. It was called "The Dwarf," and it was ugly. Um...
Gans: Now, wait a minute. Barlow told me that he wrote that lyric as a way of getting you to accept "Walk in the Sunshine."
Weir: Right. Basically, yeah.
Gans: [chuckle]
Caller: That's not the best song on the whole album.
Weir: No, it's not.
Caller: [chuckle]
Weir: But it would have been a lot better, I think, if I'd done "The Dwarf."
Gans: [chuckle]
Caller So you never played that song live.
Weir: No. Maybe, maybe if I can get the lyrics to that one...
Gans: I think I have -- I think Barlow gave me the lyrics --
Weir: A copy of the lyrics to "The Dwarf"?
Gans: -- to "The Dwarf. " I have it in my file. I'll fax it to you, Bob.
Weir: I don't know --
Gans: Look for it on this tour, folks.
Weir: -- we'll see, it's, uh --
Gans: We'll have banners out on the Furthur tour.
Caller: [laugh]
Weir: Among other things, it's kinda politically incorrect.
John Perry Barlow had this to say in his book "Mother American Night" (page 107):
"I stayed up all night with Frankie Weir, who fed me Wild Turkey and cocaine and made me write the fairly dreadful "Walk In The Sunshine." I also wrote a song based on Pär Lagerkwist's The Dwarf called "The Dwarf" that included the lyrics "I'm not a tall man / I'm a small man." It was about a horrible little Renaissance court dwarf who had no one's interests at heart. I gave it to Bobby, and so he was greatly relieved when I showed him the only slightly less terrible "Walk In The Sunshine," and I was free to go."
Dennis McNally quotes a slight variation on those lyrics in his book:
"I'm just a small man
I'm not a tall man"
When Bob Weir played Walk In The Sunshine at the first concert marking the 50th anniversary of Ace, he introduced it:
"OK now, we're gonna bring out another guest but first I got to tell you all a story. And it's not a happy story, it's not a sad story, but it is weird story. When we were making the Ace record, it came down to, as it always does, it came down to the last night before the last day of sessions that I had at Wally Heider's studio in San Francisco

I had one day's session left - we'd been in there for a week or so, maybe two - I don't remember. But we had one day left and we had a bunch of vocals to do. And I still had to finish the lyrics on this tune we called the C Shuffle. But I also had to get a night's sleep.

So I was working with my old pal John Barlow on the lyrics. And I said, John, I gonna have to go to bed - I've got to be fresh in the morning: I've got to be able to sing. [He said] No problem, me and Frankie (Frankie was my girlfriend at the time) we'll stay up and we'll finish those lyrics for you. No problem.

Now John had been reading a book, I think might have been written by Gunter Grass, it was a German book called The Dwarf. And he wrote a dark set of lyrics. I mean, we're talking dark.

And he knew damn well there was no way - you know I was twenty something, in my early twenties, and it was still sort of the flower child era, and I just wasn't going to sing those lyrics, and he knew that, and he just wrote them because he wanted to.

And then he wrote another set of lyrics and he said we'll go for these. And they're sort of hippy-dippy and I think I sang them one time in the studio - just straight through. And as I recall, you can actually hear on the studio recording that my voice is starting to go at the end of the song. And that was it. I'd done singing it for the day, for the project."


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